WOW! We’re 10 this month!
Tuesday, March 6th was our opening day back in 2009. What a journey it’s been so far. I started building the studio with an inspired Idea that I actually followed through on (not my usual m.o. back then). I worked to create the studio using some hard learned lessons from having a tiny quilt company of fun and funky children’s quilts called, “Story Quilts”. I did that with my friend Roberta Durra, a fellow Costumer I got to know in the early 90’s. Our ;little company’s rise and fall centered around our artful blankets and, a super tough Rep at the Mart that all met it’s end when Barney’s went Bankrupt! Basically Roberta and I quit that business after the Barney situation and went on to start families, never looking back. Years later when I had the idea to create CReATE I found myself drifting back to our Story Quits saga and realized we had quite before we really saw where it could go. This time I wouldn’t quit. That gave me the steam I have needed to keep on trucking through these last ten years of creativity, reuse, business and tons of donations! I am so happy I have. At year 10 I am stepping into some bigger environmentally sustainability shoes as we deal with material donations way outside my comfort zone in terms of quantity and variety. It gets me thinking, how can we reuse these things and who can we share them with? Landfill is not an option.
It’s a good thing we’re here. Reusing is a cohesive and practical way to keep post-use items and materials out of land fills. Reusing them is our fun. Thinking back to the beginning I knew that using recycled materials was the way I wanted to create freedom in art but what has unfolded is just sheer creativity. The exciting challenge that comes with exploring concepts and ideas with the materials all around us sparks joy and creates a shift in how we see the everyday things that are donated to us. I think we are creating change if even just a little. To me a cracker box will never be just a cracker box again. It has becomes limitless possibilities for me and I hope it does the same for others too. We are all the stewards of this planet, as they say, there is no planet B.
Year 10 is marking the next wave of creativity for CReATE and how we make reuse THE way.
Though we don’t have that little quilt company anymore I see it’s lessons unfold for me all the time. Stay with it they say. The best is yet to come.
We made used CD Button Spinners at MATES STEAM Night for super simple fun in motion! You can drop-in to the studio and make one with us or try it at home.
All you need is:
a CD with a 2 or 4 hole button hot-glued to the center
then string the lace through 2 holes in the button and tie.
Hold the looped string halfway on each side of the spinner and wind up by turning the CD so the string twists then pull each side of the sting out, then gently pushing the string in over and over to keep the motion going kind of like a yo-yo!
*Decorate the CD with paint or sharpie markers to create a more colorful effect.
The kids had a good time learning cross stitch during our sewing enrichment class Yerba Buena Elementary School today.
Building skills is so fun and empowering!
Cross Stitch Design inspired by Peacock and Fig 🙂
Today is National Random Acts of Kindness Day!
While our Kindness Wall is not random, the date does seem a fitting occasion to establish it at a school. That’s what Troop 61133 thought. Here’s a little backstory; They knew they wanted to do something to support kindness at their school, White Oak Elementary in Simi Valley and they knew they wanted it to be sustainable. They reached out to me about our Kindness Wall project at Agoura High School and in the studio. It took time to get the wheels of approval turning for the project on their campus but they stuck with it.
Finally, last week the troop and I got to work together to create our wall format. We painted and planned and then when it was made they had it mounted it in their schools cafeteria. They had a ceremony for the school to showcase this kindness legacy they would be leaving at White Oak as 5th graders nearing the end of their time there.
They have created a place and space where everyone at school can participate in sharing kindness year round. They have become the change they wish to see and see it they will through the words that are shared on the wall and the attitudes that are sparked in the day to day of their school community that will ripple outward in a pay-it-forward way.
Working with Girl Scout troops to create positivity is a huge win/win for all.
I hope this campus collaboration the beginning. Working with other troops at other schools to spread kindness throughout our community and beyond is in line with the leadership of scouting and the positivity the organization strives for .
Today is National Random Acts of Kindness Day!
Stop by CReATE STUDIO for a free workshop between 1-3pm today to make “Kindness Clips”- clothespins with kind words and messages to leave at the places you go!
Your act of kindness is sure to spark kindness in others too.
I read somewhere that creativity expands when shared and it made perfect sense. It was a broad statement with happy consequences. Reading that statement and spending the majority of my time at the studio have helped me see just how true and wonderful that is.
These two longtime friends who live a world away had some creative time together with us. They spent their time steeped in friendship as they discussed all the things they would make for the house the were building from scratch. They could have created together all day.
Watching kids and adults create together I see how ideas grow as they talk and reason the aspects of what they’re working on. Two heads are better than one as they say, creations seem to take flight at the hands of teamwork and the whole process goes so much deeper for the participants as three important elements we long to nurture come together; creativity, presence and connection to spark more and more possibilities. It’s so simple yet profound to me that what we seek in life comes easily in shared moments of making. I promise it works to enrich those involved even if it’s as simple as coloring in a coloring book or as intricate as inventing a new game. Take a few moments this week to create something together, it will spark ideas, loving connection and the presence to enjoy it.
I had read “the life changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo and just finished watching her series “Tidying up with Marie Kondo on Netflix.
I had gotten a lot out of the book when I read it but I got even more from watching the show! There is a very important message for me in her tidying up method and the sensibilities that go along with it that are about sparking joy. She was so creative in developing her method for connecting with joy.
For years I have had a vision board I made with a piece of a card that says scatter joy. I realize after watching the show that that message was an underlying piece of creating the studio for me- to scatter a little joy in people by enabling them to be present and to create what they are sparked through inspiration to do. Marie’s message about sparking joy is really special. It’s wrapped up in gratitude, in appreciating what you already have and in seeing the value of it. It’s loving what you have that helps you love where you live. Those are the kinds of things I have been personally striving for for years. Being grateful for what you have has a space at create studio, Creating can be such a close connection to joy and loving what you make is a wonderful feeling. Those creations go home. Sometimes they stay a while and sometimes they are parted with but all that really matters is if creating them sparked joy. Thanks to Marie, I think I will keep a little mantra in my mind at the studio and in my day to day, “scatter some joy”. Perhaps here the universe is saying spark joy through creativity. Ok!
Happy First Day of Winter from all of us at CReATE STUDIO!
I recently visited Borderline Memorial. I was so touched by the love and community essence that enveloped it. I had never been to a memorial before. It was profoundly personal to me. There were stories and accounts and prayers for each of the victims and so many hand-made treasures that I felt came from the deepest places of love. Art heals. There were hand crafted pieces contributed by people out of state as well as local artists too.
I thought about the victims that I don’t know personally but I have gotten to know just a little through stories and this memorial. I have been thinking about Borderline since it happened. I have been reconciling the event in my mind and of all the other shootings we’ve heard about and been affected by. Visiting the memorial left me feeling that I had to create something- a way to contribute to honoring the loss and building the foundation of love that had been created. I reached out to my friend Alison and asked if she wanted to create something with me because I knew that she had been processing grief and loss about Borderline. She and I got together and collaborated on a project to contribute to the memorial and to heal our own hearts. It was healing indeed and something we could do. It was an opportunity for us to process the magnitude of Borderline and the weight on our community. I had heard it many times in my life but now I have an experience to draw from and to heal as a member of our community. Art heals indeed.
We created the art on a piece of wood that used to be part of our counter at the studio so it had a chalkboard finish. Alison and I thought that could be a space for more healing as we are an entire community trying to process this event and explore how to grow forward. If you see our piece out there we hope it helps you heal too.
Dr. Maria Montessori’s quote “Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening but by experiences in the environment” resonated with me.
I have long thought the home-assigned school project was education’s way of connecting children back to process by providing parameters that kids could explore on their terms in an environment that was outside the school setting-thereby creating space to figure out the task in their time. Now, as a parent it wasn’t always convenient or easy for me and my kids to do the project but it was a vital way, I could see, that my kids could take all the information they had collected in their minds at school and put it together in their own way. I have my daughter, Maisy’s 4th grade mission project hanging on the wall at the studio. It was a shoe box, a sheet of thick paper and a few pieces of moss, drawn out and arranged to look like a diorama. That was a project that taught both of us that value of keeping it simple. We went over the concept of creating a curve in the paper that would serve as a background and by doing so, we created the illusion of a bigger space-just like at the Natural History Museum. We worked together to plan the project but she did all the drawing. Maisy figured out the details of her project in her own process and we had the space to trouble shoot it. I imagine if I asked her she would remember making it. I still do because it was a hands-on experience with various elements to include and parameters to keep. She learned so much more than Missions during that project and I haven’t forgotten it.
Today, we love having kids make their projects at the studio because it adds an element of fun and ease to the “to-do” of a home-assigned project that everyone (parent and child) would love to have check-marked off their to-do list. The time they spend together at CReATE, talking, planning, figuring and creating are rich beyond words. They are deep in learning which is food for the brain, and they always leave feeling a sense of achievement and pride and I like to think, a little bit of connection too. Dr. Montessori had it right, experiences in the environment are golden.
* learn more about our win/win school project program here.